All five seasons of Netflix’s The Crown, definitively ranked from worst to best
Gillian Anderson supremacy!!!
I hate the monarchy, but simultaneously manage to be completely fascinated by it. Enter The Crown on Netflix: The perfect way to soak into all the dramas and scandals surrounding the royal family – by binging a show that paints a somewhat fictionalised version of the royals that makes them look at times straight up villainous. Gorgeous. I adore everything about The Crown, from the lavish production value to the untouchable ensemble cast. We’ve now had five amazing seasons – but which reigns supreme? Here’s all five seasons of The Crown on Netflix, ranked from worst to best.
5. Season one
Man, it kills me to put such an amazing season of television in last place – but what it comes down to is that I feel like all the other seasons have highs that are just that little bit higher. But make no mistake – The Crown season one is truly incredible. Documenting the years from when the young Elizabeth first became queen and navigating her marriage to Philip, as well as the final years of Winston Churchill’s time as prime minister.
The scenes between Elizabeth and Margaret are heartbreaking as she forbids her from marrying Townsend, and the cast are just absolutely stellar. The real juicy stuff is yet to come, though!
4. Season two
Season two hits like a levelled up season one. Everyone just feels a little bit more sure in everything, and it’s like Peter Morgan knew the show was a success so they just pushed it a bit harder. Season two tackles the Suez crisis, the scandal surrounding the abdicated Edward, the Duke of Windor, and his links to the Nazis and the birth of the Queen’s two youngest.
It also has an outstanding episode where JFK and Jackie O come to the UK and meet the Queen. It’s all good stuff, and a fine way for the early days to bow out. I know some people loved this era of The Crown so much, and will be shocked to see these seasons ranked at the bottom – I just personally find the recent history way more fascinatingly depicted.
3. Season three
The Crown’s third season saw a new cast step in, and personally? I just love how this group feel together. Olivia Colman is of course one of the greatest actors of our time – and whilst I don’t think she’s always the most accurate Elizabeth, she’s just an absolute triumph to watch in any role she undertakes. Season three makes the top three for Aberfan alone – a masterpiece episode of television documenting a tragedy that not enough people in my generation know about.
Elsewhere, we get the incredible Josh O’Connor as Charles – truly a casting from the gods – and the equally talented Jason Watkins as Labour prime minister Harold Wilson. And who could forget Helena Bonham Carter as Margaret? Honestly, just phenomenal talent and a great new era of The Crown that builds an outstanding path through the 60s and 70s.
2. Season five
Despite being the worst critically reviewed of all The Crown seasons ranked here, season five lived up to my expectations and more. I found the latest offering to be the most dramatically watchable yet, completely soap-like in its portrayals. Elizabeth Debicki as Diana is one of the most accurate portrayals of anyone in film or TV I’ve ever seen. The rest of the cast are absolutely sterling too, with the exception of Dom West as Charles who is certainly NO Josh O’Connor.
The more royalists get up in arms about The Crown, the more I love it. It boggles my mind how we’re all these years into this show and the right wing press are somehow under the illusion that they’re watching a documentary. Bring on the carnage!
1. Season four
The Crown season four’s excellence can be summed up with one hallowed name: Gillian Anderson. I love Gillian Anderson more than I love my own family at this point, and I hate Margaret Thatcher on exactly the same level. Seeing an actor you love so much play a prime minister who caused such damage to so many is thrilling – and Gillian Anderson gives the performance of her career and is pivotal in making The Crown season four truly the best of a stunning bunch.
And who could forget Emma Corrin’s Diana, a magnetic performance that’s heartbreaking and effortless – playing off Josh O’Connor, they’re just a joy to watch in every scene together. This is such a thrilling period of history to watch on screen and it’s The Crown at its very best.
The Crown season five is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.